Are you courageous enough?

Has anyone or anything been disturbing your peace lately? If you watch the evening news, there are reports of mass shootings, angry confrontations between this group or that, natural disasters sweeping away those in their path, homes destroyed by fires, and families torn apart by things way beyond their control. Indeed, there are a plethora of things that can disturb our peace in a matter of seconds, but we don't have to allow our peace to be destroyed by any of these things or people. God's peace is capable of surpassing whatever seeks to disturb it. The way peace is maintained is also the way it is attained - we place our trust in the One True God.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock. (Isaiah 26:3-4)

What are 'fixed thoughts'? If you are like me, your mind can ramble right along from one thought to the next without taking a breather at all. We can get so caught up in our thought patterns that we totally miss how muddled they are getting, all because we don't take that 'breather'. One way of having the peace of God rule over our lives is by learning to take our thoughts 'captive' more than once in a while. Sometimes we need to just 'shut off' long enough to allow God to speak. We cannot hear if we are not listening. We cannot embrace peace is our arms (and our hearts and minds) are so laden with our burdens that we are not open to receiving the embrace. 

I used to think a person who had 'fixed thoughts' was like the monk in the monastery. There would be no outside distractions, peaceful times of prayer and meditation, and some enchanting worship emanating from their lives. Boy, was I off base on that one! Fixed thoughts do not require us to live a 'shut away' life, it just means we will take the time and effort to keep Christ first in all we undertake. We might 'shut away' some of the invading thoughts, then really spend some quality time focusing on him - his Word, some time in meditation, and even a bit of worship. We don't need to live a cloistered life to be at peace with God, but we may need to allow some work with our minds in order to 'maintain peace'. 

When we are instructed to 'take every thought captive', it suggests there is this tendency to allow them to be 'carried away' by the 'loudest' or most 'frequent' influence. The more we control what can influence our thoughts, the more 'fixed' our thoughts will become. I read some research a while back that showed how we can hear ten different reports - nine will be positive, but one will be negative. The researchers showed that the human mind could recall the negative quicker than the positive. Does that surprise anyone? The 'bent' of our minds is to 'fix upon' the negative quicker than the positive. That need to change if we are to know and live in the peace of God.

It took me a while to allow God access to my mind - but it was worth the effort it took to get to the place where I allowed time (access) to my thoughts. It meant I had a regular time to explore the scripture, enough time to consider what he was showing me, and then a plan to allow it to be 'mulled over' again and again throughout the day. That meant I sometimes needed to refocus my thinking - being aware when I was allowing other things to keep my mind in a frenzy and neglecting to allow his peace to enter in. Maybe that is our prayer today - God give us an awareness of the building frenzy and the courage to shut it off long enough to let you speak into it. Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

Steel in your convictions

Sentimental gush

Not where, but who